Ukrainian Grandmaster Vadim Malakhatko (1977-2023) dies at the age of 46

by André Schulz
6/9/2023 – Last Monday, 5 June, Ukrainian grandmaster Vadim Malakhatko died of a heart attack in Kyiv. During his career Malakhatko won numerous open tournaments and played for the Ukrainian national team, although he moved to the Belgian Chess Federation in 2007. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

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Vadim Malakhatko, born on 22 March 1977 in Kyiv, then in the Soviet Union, learnt chess as a child and was a pupil at the Avantgard chess school in Kyiv. His coach was Alexei Kosikov. In 1997 Malakhatko became the U20 champion of Ukraine. In 1999 he won the Kyiv City Championship and became a Grandmaster. In 2004 he won the Kyiv championship for the second time.

After leaving school, Malakhatko studied at the Kyiv Institute of Physical Education. In 2000 he was called up to the Ukrainian national team for the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul and won bronze with the Ukrainian team behind Russia and Germany. The following year he won the gold medal with the Ukrainian team at the World Team Championship in Yerevan.

Malakhatko has taken part in a large number of tournaments during his career and won a lot of them, mainly open tournaments, including Pic d'Anie 2004, La Fère Open 2004, FE Open in Bergamo 2004, Bad Zwesten Chess Days 2005, ZMD Open 2005, Perla Baltiku tournament in Mielno 2005, the Hilton tournament in Basel 2006 and 2007, the International Master Tournament in Bruges 2006, the Coppa Citta' die Monti in Sardinia 2006, the Politiken Cup 2006, Hastings 2008, the North Sea Cup 2008, furthermore the GM tournament Panevezys 2008, the Arcapita International in Manama 2009 and the 17. Fajr International in Kisch.

Vadim Malakhatko with his cups

In 2006 he was also runner-up in the European Rapid Chess Championship.

Malakhatko has played for various teams in Ukraine, France, Germany and Spain. Disappointed with the Ukrainian Chess Federation, he moved to the Belgian Chess Federation in 2007, and won the Belgian team championship in 2008 with his Club Bredene. In 2009 he was number on Belgium's ranking. Malakhatko reached his highest rating in October 2008 with Elo 2633.

Malakhatko was married to Ukrainian Grandmaster Anna Zozulia.

At an Ukrainian junior tournament in Kyiv

Malakhatko was found dead of a heart attack in his Kyiv apartment on 5 June. The funeral took place on 7 June at the Balkove cemetery in Kyiv.


Chess despite the war: The Anfield Cup in Kyiv

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.